I tend to agree with Dr. Padawan that Hasbro's got enough of a hand in this that they could be doing better... There's no Clone multi-pack on the market, yet it was inevitable Clones would be the hot thing...
Army builders aside, my gf's kids want Clones and just can't find the damn things... they've actually focused instead on Legos since they said, and I quote, "I got Clones with this walker thing... You can't even find a Clone! Haha!"
Yes, a 7 year old gave me a "Nelson Ha Ha" because he got a Clone with his AT-RT Lego... God Dammit.
Anyway, I think Hasbro can do better... I think retail can do better though as well, and they are a step in the process, but Hasbro's got the majority of responsibility here ultimately... It's their job to make the assortment and sell it... You'd think retail would be able to looka t their pegs and say, "ya know, we would like more Clones actually".
I tend to disagree with the EE Clones being such a GREAT thing though however... I like them, the concept's as sound as it gets, but the price is prohibitive to the actual intent... I don't know anyone going ape**** with army building with these really... And I debate just how well these sold, or EE wouldn't have declined more I think, and the exclusive wouldn't have shown now at other outlets... I think a lot of information on these is still in the dark, and may remain that way.
For what it's worth though, even in new packaging, by the case from EE, these sold for $6.25-ish/figure shipped... that's what I'm paying my buddy who bought a few cases for local collectors to divy up... EE made a profit even at $6.25 each, though admitedly a smaller margin since they were selling by higher volume. An all -white case would've been an ideal, to ship alongside the white/officer case.
Anyway, these figures don't really cost more than the other to make and sell, and if it's a figure like Clones/Troop Builders then increased sales should more than make up every cost incurred by simple volume of sales. The construction of a SA Clone isn't anything more spectacular than a Mon Mothma... There's just a few more parts to snap together. If one part of production cost more than anything it's "injection molded" pieces (the ball/socket shoulders and whatnot), but that's been a more common feature in the ROTS line than ever... It's not an expensive process really, nor more time consuming...
What really can cost on a SA style figure are the fixed costs like mold toolings and such, which are expensive, but which depreciate as more and more of a figure is sold... For every Clone put out, that cost is a little less, and the margin of profit isn't so narrow. Costs are incurred to produce more, but the price of a sale always covers the cost of production (+ a retailing MSRP/profit factored in) otherwise none would be made or sold.
The EE Clone set still just irks me that its very purpose (to army build) was dashed by overly expensive packaging, and an unnecessarilly high price per figure if you wanted only white Clones... I personally can't justify more than the couple sets I got, and only then because of their coming from cases bought by friends.
I'm a guy with 100's of army builders, and sadly this one it looks like I'll not have too many of.